Comcast to raise Clark County cable, Internet rates in November

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian Business Editor



Comcast is increasing rates for its digital cable and Internet services in Clark County effective in the November billing cycle, with its popular “Digital Starter” service rising by $3, or 4.76 percent, to $65.99.

Comcast’s “Digital Preferred” service will cost $83.99, also a $3 increase. Costs will rise by $5 monthly for “Digital Preferred Plus subscribers,” to $117.99, and the “Digital Premier” service, to $137.99.

There is no change in the $15.07 charge for basic service or the $29.95 cost of economy service. Customers will see increases of $1 to $2 each for a variety of premium services such as HBO, Showtime, and the Movie Channel.

Xfinity Internet packages with TV and voice will increase $3 to $4 per month. The starter Xfinity Triple Play package will increase by $5 to $134.99.

Comcast characterizes the overall increase for the average customer as 3.2 percent. It says the increases will not affect about half of its customers, who are receiving promotional offers.

Katie Maloney, communications manager for Comcast, said that the increases will pay for higher programming costs and operating expenses, as well as “next-generation technology to add value to our products and improve service.” The same rate increases will take effect in Oregon, a company spokesperson said.

Comcast notified the Clark County/Vancouver Telecommunications Commission late last week of the planned increases. The commission does not regulate Comcast rates but is in negotiations to renew a long-term cable franchise agreement with Comcast.

Jim Demmon, the commission’s cable manager, said in an e-mail he sent to city and county elected officials that he was concerned about the timing of the rate increase given the current economic climate. “However, this is a business decision by Comcast over which neither local nor federal government has any regulatory authority,” he wrote.

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